Entry for 2017-02-14

Excerpted from Direct Mail (in the Encyclopedia of Advertising)

Coca Cola can afford to float a $45 million flight of ads and commercials to reach 200 million people, all of whom are potential customers. But if they were selling primary ore-crushers or backsizing latex instead of soda-pop, then they would have only a few dozen or a few hundred prospects, and they would just have to look them up, give them a call or play golf with them. If they were selling heat-resistant polyesters or drill pipe, there would be several thousand potential buyers -- too few for TV, too many for golf, but just a nice size list for a direct-mail piece offering free product literature and maybe a chance on a Lexus.

Mailers. The basic unit of industrial direct mail is the "mailer" or "mailing piece." This is often a simple card or folder with a reply card, but sometimes it's much fancier. To many art directors, a direct mail assignment is an invitation to an Origami festival, evoking spectacular folding circuses of multiple die-cuts, pop-ups, and wall-size scratch-and-sniff posters destined to win awards -- if not from the New York Art Directors' Show, then at least from a grateful paper company.

Littacher. Whoever sends in the reply card will receive "product literature" (pronounced littacher), usually a booklet or brochure. (The distinction between a brochure and a folder is highly theoretical, but generically speaking a brochure contains more product information, while a folder is more likely to have big headlines and a bird on it.)